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[250] day skirmishing with the Federals at Harper's Ferry and collecting his men together, and late in the afternoon had encamped near Halltown, some 43 miles from Strasburg by way of Winchester.

Fully apprised by Ashby of the movements of the enemy and of the points which they had reached in marching from opposite directions toward Strasburg, Jackson prepared with the utmost calmness to meet the threatening emergency. At 10 that night he dispatched Captain Hotchkiss, of his staff, to Harper's Ferry, with orders to bring Winder's force to Strasburg with the utmost dispatch, informing him of the points reached by Fremont and McDowell at that time, and saying that he would remain at Winchester as long as he could. To the question of Captain Hotchkiss as to what he should do if he found Winchester occupied by the enemy before reaching that place, Jackson replied, with a wave of his hand to the westward, ‘Come 'round through the mountains.’ Winder was reached at an early hour and hastened to bring in his pickets, some of which were across the Shenandoah on Loudoun heights, and then marched rapidly, passing through Winchester late in the afternoon, to the vicinity of Newtown, within about 10 miles of Strasburg, where he encamped after dark after a march of 28 miles for the main body, and of 35 miles for a portion of the brigade. Early on the morning of the 31st, Jackson put everything in motion from Winchester for Strasburg. The 2,300 Federal prisoners marched first, guarded by the Twenty-first Virginia; then followed, in double column, 7 miles of wagons loaded with captured stores and the ordnance and supplies of the army, the main body of which followed these, and the whole reached and passed through Strasburg late in the afternoon and the army bivouacked just beyond, in line of battle, within the portal of the narrow western valley of the Shenandoah, with its flanks safely guarded by the Massanuttons on the right and the North mountains on the left, and ready to meet either the advance of Fremont from the northeast or that of Mc-Dowell from the southeast, or of both combined; well satisfied that in such a strong defensive position he could easily defeat any force they could bring against him.

The next morning, Sunday, June 1st, the heavy rainstorm

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